11/1/09 - 12/1/09 | NESHEAHOLIC

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movies should have happy endings

A lot of the criticism I'm hearing about Lee Daniel's Precious is that it was too sad or too dark or too emotionally intense. The way I see it, Precious was REAL. It showed one of the ugliest sides of life; some people used that to characterize it as a bad movie.

I think this stems from our need for movies to have happy endings, for good characters to be redeemed and for bad characters to be punished. We seek out movie entertainment for things to go "right," unlike our lives where things happen that aren't always fair.

It can be argued that entertainment should just entertain and make us feel good, but I admire a story where filmmakers don't feel the need to wrap everything up in a neat little bow before the credits. Some people live happily ever after, others sadly don't.

Should movies have happy endings?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The lure of twitter

Something I've come to realize about what makes Twitter a special little place on the interweb is the convergence of celebrities and us "regular people."

There has always been celeb websites but never before have we been given the allusion of actually knowing a celebrity, being privy to when, what and where they are eating, their first thoughts when they wake up, and their last thoughts before they go to bed.

It makes our day to be able to @mention or RT (retweet them). Even a person not very consumed with celebrity culture will get excited to "follow" their favorite author or politician.

Twitter: where everyone can know someone "important."

I'm cool, so follow me.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friendship is a two-way street

It's an old saying, but it's true. If two friends have not talked for five years, it's neither of their faults, or both of their faults, depending on how you look at it. Friendship, like any type of relationship, contains two people and takes two people to make things work.

It amuses me to hear someone say "She hasn't called me in 2 years, I'm so upset, we're not friends anymore." Phones, e-mail, text messages, facebook, they are all two-way communication devices. If she hasn't called, and you haven't called, who is to blame? There isn't really a person to blame, unless you blame both parties equally.

It's easy to put the blame of a lost friendship on the other person, but before you do, please examine your efforts, or lack thereof, in the friendship.

Now, if one person is continually attempting to make contact, talk, go out, etc., and the other person isn't responsive, that is when blame can be placed. Otherwise, pick up the phone, and start the ball rolling on rekindling your friendships.

Life is a hectic, busy, thing, and I do wish I had more time to keep up with my friends from all walks of life. I'll have to try harder.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heath Ledger vs. Mo'Nique

I saw the movie "Precious" this weekend. I thought it was a good film. The term I've been using to describe it is "intense." Good cinematography and great acting with a heavy, yet well executed, plot. There is already Oscar buzz surrounding actress Mo'Nique for her role as the mother in the film. I think she did a phenomenal job.

My husband asked if I would say she was better than Heath Ledger as Joker in Batman. My initial reaction was "heck no!" Heath Ledger destroyed (that's destroyed in a good way) that role in a way where no one will ever be able to play the Joker again. He will forever be the Joker. But after I thought about it, I think I would place Mo'Nique on the same level as Ledger. The Joker is a very complex character to play, being insane and all, so a person might say that it is "harder" to play the Joker than to play the Mother in "Precious." But for all intents and purposes, the Mother is mentally ill as well. Both were so committed to the characters that audiences have very visceral reactions to them.

I think both actor's performances can be acclaimed on the same level.

For those who have seen both films, would you say Mo'Nique and Heath Ledger's performances were of equal caliber?


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 - Someone who looks like me!

Left 4 Dead 2 comes out today, but lucky as I am I had it yesterday and played well into the night. First, let me say I give the second version two thumbs up. Its everything that a game sequel should be. There are new zombie types, melee weapons, challenges, and (my favorite) new characters. I was so happy to see that one of the new characters was a Black woman, like me!

Now, I played the first version happily, even without a Black woman avatar to choose from, and I would be playing the second version just as happily even if the new character (Rochelle) wasn't in the game. But it makes my gaming experience *that* much more fun to have a Black woman with locs as my avatar.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My problem with ABC's "V"

I was really excited for the premiere/pilot of "V" last week on ABC. I'm into sci-fi, and with the recent success of "Flash Forward" I was looking for ABC to come at me with a one-two punch of great television. Thus far, I've been disappointed.

The premise of the show is that alien "visitors" or "V's" have landed/ are hovering mother ships above Earth's largest cities. The majority of humans embrace the V's while others are against their existence on earth. Prior to this formal "landing" V's already inhabited earth secretly, some good, some bad. Looming is the questions of WHY? the V's have come to Earth. Noting V traitors who seek to help the human race, the answer is probably something bad.

Earth - V relations are unrealistic
Nations cannot get along with other humans that have been on earth for the same time span as they have, I find it hard to believe that countries would so easily accept the V's onto the planet. At the arrival of the ships there was note of ONE military plane attempting to shoot at the V's ship. One plane? Whenever an aircraft that our military cannot communicate with is in our air space, its gets shot at, or at least surrounded by our air force. You are telling me that in none of the countries on Earth was military sent to check out the ships? Unrealistic. Of course I don't expect the series to explore the relations in real time, as it would probably take longer than this TV season to delve into the resistance , but by the second episode countries are already starting to grant alien's VISA's. Unrealistic. In the U.S. we've faught for years over citizenship of immigrants who cross our borders illegally, but in the span of about a week ALIEN's get VISAs? No.

Also, they look like us, which makes sense. It was even noted by character Chadd Decker (played by Scott Wolf, who looks earily like Michael J. Fox) that the V's look like what the main stream would consider attractive. I understand this being intentional, humans will trust people who are attractive, studies have shown that, but there is no mention on how they will be distinguished from human beings. They are letting them onto the earth with no way to immediately distinguish them? No tattoo or signiture arm bands? Humans are just not that trusting.

Character development = way too fast
There are many storylines happening at once, and multiple characters being looked at, which is fine, but things are going so fast that relationships aren't clear. The relationship between FBI Agent Erica Evans and Father Jack Landry, which I believe will be a central relationship, is very ambiguous. It isn't clear as to whether or not they knew each other prior to their first onscreen encounter at a V-Resistance meeting. There are many characters and many storylines, but they don't seem to be getting fleshed out at all. Actress Lourdes Benedicto, who plays Valerie Stevens (fiance of a V-traitor) is shown in all the major cast shots, which leads me to believe that she is an important character. Why then, at this point, has she been almost nonexistant in the story? I'm all for inference, but there seems to be non-strategically placed holes in the story.

Not all bad
In the end I wouldn't call the show all bad at all. The cinematagrophy is great, and I'm intrigued by the notion that anyone could be a V. It will be fun trying to decipher who is human and who is V as the season goes along.

I believe this is the third attempt at the series since 1983.

Rating: B-
(for reference, I give "Flash Forward" an A)

Friday, November 6, 2009

White Beauty

The cosmetic company, Pond's, has the below commercial out in India. I watched the commercial three times to make sure I was getting the right message. I determined that I am seeing what this commercial is saying, loud and clear: Dear women of India, if you want to keep your man, you need to be as white as you can be, because white is beautiful. As the commercial says, their product can give you white beauty, in either a pinkish-white glow, or a pale white.

As a person of color this upsets me. Not because I don't think white is beautiful, but because I think all colors are beautiful, and marketing a product that attempts to sell one type of beauty over another is shameful.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obama, the face of our nation.

Why is it that people see other country's like of our president as something negative? Whenever non-American support of our president is mentioned its always portrayed as something bad. Why?

I think its because American's are so xenophobic that they think other countries should have nothing but fear for us and our president, as we seem to fear other countries. Oh yes, we fear other countries. This war wouldn't have been supported as long as it has if people didn't think that we needed to bully other countries into our way of thinking in order to keep them from attacking us.

What about friendships? What about positive relationships and positive perceptions between nations? I've always thought that positive begets positive, and negative begets more negative. One day, somebody will have to step up and be the bigger person, to say "we were wrong, what can we do to make things right?" (I know it is not as simple as just saying that, but the sentiment of that statement is what I mean).

I think President Obama has made good strides into "marketing" the U.S. in a more friendly way, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

We don't have to rule by fear...then again, why do we feel like we need to rule?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fail

I was really excited for yesterday, my first time setting up shop to give out candy to trick or treaters. The hubby and I went to BJs and got a big box of chocolate bar miniatures and some small packets of Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids.

I was ready. I was so excited to see the first group of kids approaching. As they got closer I noticed none of the four of them had on a costume. There was no parent but the oldest looked about 12. When they approached us one of them said "Can I have some candy?" and the others said nothing, just went for the bowl. They took over-stuffed handfuls, nearly cleaning out my whole bowl and ran off to the next house. ONE of them did say thank you. I was shocked. I didn't even have time to think to say something. This wasn't what I had envisioned as my first Halloween as a trick or treat home.

I think the only word I can put on my feelings was disgusted. These children had no manners and no Halloween spirit, just pirating for free candy.

I'm a holiday freak, so maybe I'm taking this more serious than I should, but the whole situation made me some mixed version of sad and mad. I'd be lying to myself if I tried to say that the fact that they were Black kids wasn't a part of me feeling the way I did. The thing is, before and after they came to our house, they went to other houses in my condo. Being one of what I believe is two black houses in the complex, I felt shamed by them to my neighbors. I don't want these kids to be what my neighbor thinks of when they see my husband and I at the mailbox.

In a perfect world, people would be judged on what they do, and what they do alone. But the world isn't perfect, and people project the actions of others onto groups of people with similarities to them, and in this case that similarity is darker hued skin.

My second, and sadly, last, group of trick or treaters (since it started to rain) was four adults who were accompanying one very cute little girl dressed as Marie Antoinette. The women she came with made sure she said "Trick or Treat" and said thank you. She politely got one packet of Swedish Fish and a few chocolates and went on her marry way.

That’s how you do Halloween right.

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